Title

Family physicians understanding about Mantoux test: A survey from a high endemic TB country.

Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

Background: Tuberculosis is a global health emergency and is a big challenge to diagnose and manage it. Family physicians being first contact health persons should be well competent to diagnose and manage the Patients with tuberculosis. Aims: This study was aimed to assess the level of understanding about Mantoux Test amongst Family Physicians in Karachi, Pakistan and to determine the difference of level of understanding by gender and number of tuberculosis Patients seen in a month. Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted among 200 Family Physicians working in Karachi, the largest city and economic hub of Pakistan. Family Physicians who attended Continuous Medical Education sessions were approached after taking consent. Pre-tested, self administered questionnaire was filled consisting of: basic demographic characteristics, questions regarding knowledge about Mantoux Test, its application and interpretation. Data of 159 questionnaires was analyzed for percentages, as rest were incomplete. Chi square test was used to calculate the difference of understanding levels between various groups. Results: Almost two thirds of respondents were males and above 35 years of age. Majority of Family Physicians were private practitioners and seeing more than five tuberculosis Patients per month. Overall, a big gap was identified about the knowledge of Mantoux Test among study participants. Only 18.8% of Family Physicians secured Excellent (>/= 80% correct responses). This poor level of understanding was almost equally distributed in all comparative groups (Male = 20.8% versus Female = 15.9%, p - 0.69) and (Seen < 5 tuberculosis Patients per month = 18.6% versus seen >/= 5 tuberculosis Patients per month = 19.3%, p - 0.32). A huge majority of Family Physicians (92%) however, showed keen interest in obtaining further knowledge regarding Mantoux Test and amongst them 72% suggested Continued Medical Education sessions as preferable mode of updating themselves. Conclusion: Our study revealed an overall major deficit in understanding and interpretation of Mantoux Test amongst Family Physicians which needs to be addressed. Continues Medical Education sessions for Family Physicians should be organized in regular basis for upgrading their knowledge in this regards.

Publication

Asia Pacific Family Medicine